House farm bill makes key land access investments, but misses big opportunities

NYFC policy staff continues to dig into the House farm bill, H.R. 2. Read our previous posts on the overall analysis of the bill, as well as its potential impact for young farmers in the West. Across the country, climbing land prices have made it increasingly difficult for farmers to afford land. The challenge of land access for young farmers is so widespread and acute, in fact, that NYFC has an entire team dedicated to it. The farm bill, reauthorized... Read More

With West in Drought, House Farm Bill Cuts Conservation, Funds Land Access

  Wedged in between White House scandals and Beychella, the House Agriculture Committee released their draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. As NYFC outlined in our initial analysis of the bill, there is some good news for young farmers. Programs that support the next generation, like the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), are reauthorized, and funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a critical tool... Read More

Finding Farmland: Upgrade Released

If you have been using NYFC’s Finding Farmland site, get ready for a big upgrade to the Land Affordability Calculator. And if you haven’t—try out the new version now! A decision-making tool designed specifically for farmers seeking land, the Finding Farmland Calculator makes it easy for farmers to understand and compare farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a loan officer. Since our beta release in... Read More

Ask your Representative to Support the Young Farmer Agenda

The Young Farmer Agenda is NYFC’s policy platform for the next farm bill. By enacting the Young Farmer Agenda, Congress can inspire and support an entire generation of young producers, protect the resources they steward, strengthen the communities they feed, and revitalize the rural economies they underpin. Call your Member of Congress today to ask them to support the Young Farmer Agenda! NYFC has worked with Congressional champions to introduce... Read More

Tell the Senate to Address Farmer Student Loan Debt

We have a huge opportunity to advance our student loan campaign.   The Senate is rewriting the Higher Education Act, which includes federal student loan policy and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. They’re soliciting input from key stakeholders—we need to speak up for young farmers! The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee has set up a special email address to receive public comments about what their... Read More

Finding and Funding Your Farm

By Michael Durante, Land Access Program Associate A thin line separates opportunity from crisis in America’s agricultural economy. Farmers over the age of 65 now outnumber farmers under 35 by a margin of six to one, and U.S. farmland is overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of older farmers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), nearly two-thirds of farmland is currently managed by someone over 55. Yet young Americans continue... Read More

My one piece of advice to aspiring farmers

Planting buckwheat and clover with my dad. By John Wepking, Meadowlark Organics and Bickford Organics  I’ve never had a job so rooted in place as farming, and I’ve certainly never known a career that combined proactivity with futility so beautifully. For the most part, the calendar sets us, we don’t set our calendar. We always aim to cut first crop hay on the 15th of May, but as we get closer and closer to that date, we invariably surrender... Read More

News from the West

The end of summer brought both bounty and hardship to Western farmers and ranchers. From hurricanes to fire, flood to drought, many have struggled with serious impacts to both their operations and their communities. But as farmers do, you are rebuilding, pitching in, and standing together. Times like these remind us how important it is to strengthen our communities and build a common voice for resilient agriculture. NYFC’s Western team has been... Read More

Announcing NYFC’s Land Affordability Calculator

  findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org   Fall is when farm work, done under the glow of the sun, gives way to farm planning under the glow of a computer screen. If your farm planning includes a search for—or even just a dream of—land of your own, NYFC has a tool for you. This fall, NYFC launched Finding Farmland, a website designed to help farmers and ranchers across the country make informed financial decisions during the process of accessing... Read More

12 farmers, 44 meetings, 1 day

In the first week of June, with the 2018 farm bill already in motion, twelve young farmers flew to D.C. to tell Congress we need a farm bill that invests in our future. They discussed land access, student loans, health care and more. We held 44 meetings in one day and left D.C. feeling confident that young farmer interests will be included in the next farm bill. June is one of the hardest times of the year to leave the farm, and we’re so... Read More

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